Well, well, well. It turns out "OMG! Manny Diaz is teh Suck!" might not be all that facetious after all. The Quotemeister was once again schooled by a Big XII offensive coordinator, this time allowing West Virginia and their second-string running back to rack up over 200 yards of rushing - including the game-clinching, stake-driving last drive during which everybody on earth knew they were going to run the ball and the Good Guys were still unable to stop - or even slow down - the Mountaineers.
Once again, our guys looked lost at times. How a defensive starter for the University of Texas is caught looking at the sideline on a 4th-and-inches deep in our own territory while the ball is being snapped is just fucking beyond me. But at least Geno Smith managed to QB-sneak the ball for an 8-yard gain, so at least there's that. As I have said before, I haven't played organized football in about 25 years, but I'm pretty sure that on 4th-and-inches, when God and everybody knows a QB sneak is coming, the correct play call is to line your ass up over the center and stop the press when the ball is snapped. Don't recall ever having to check with the coaches before lining up that way on defense, but apparently our defense is so sneaky that sometimes we call something different than "don't let 'em get a 1st down!"
As bad as Manny and his unit were at times Saturday night, his offensive counterpart doesn't get a pass either. While Harsin's stable of plays are fun to watch in the sense that they're different from Greg Davis's plays - which we were all tired of seeing after 10 years on the 40 acres - they are nearly as predictable as GDGD's were, and he's managed to accomplish that feat after less than two full seasons on the job. Did anybody here not predict that, after three straight J. Gray keepers in the Wild formation late in the game, Gray was going to hand it off to the sweep man (Shipley, in this case) on the 4th attempt? Anybody not predict we were going to do our infamous "run-into-the-back-of-the-pile" play after the turnover in the 4th quarter when we brought in 12 extra linemen?
Does anybody believe that OU will be fooled by any of this Saturday? I'll be the first to admit, I predicted we'd be undefeated heading into Manhattan in December, but after five games I'm ready to adjust my predictions. I suspect we get beaten soundly this weekend by an OU team that has similar athletes and better coaching. We'll make at least one of their skill-position players look like a Heisman candidate, and it's entirely possible that David Ash, after a stellar start to the season (even posting better numbers than Geno Smith Saturday) has a poor outing and turns the game into a rout. Again. So call us 4-2 after this week, and I suspect we drop at least one more before bowl season - likely KSU. That puts us at 9-3 at best, and possibly 8-4 if Baylor or Tech sneaks up on us.
Technically speaking, 9-3 would be an improvement over last year, but I think that's grasping at straws. Offensive players - if not necessarily scheming - have made big gains since last year (our run blocking notwithstanding), but the defensive side of the ball - both players and coaching - seems to have gone backwards.
And that's all I have to say about that. There will be plenty of analysis here and elsewhere this week if you're into that sort of thing.
Moving on. I'd like to give props to the Godzillatron Dude at DKR, who clearly reads TKS and got the word about being annoying. Saturday night, he didn't feel it was necessary to plaster the words to The Eyes of Texas all over the screen, and at one point he even played a semi-tribute to Bevo. It wasn't as groovy as last season's "I've Got My Game On" piece, but it was something. Even the "Make Noise!" banners were a little more strategically placed this week. Keep up the good work, Godzillatron Dude.
Speaking of making noise: DKR was absolutely the loudest I've ever heard it on Saturday night. My 9-year-old son spent a fair portion of the second half with his fingers in his ears. The "Texas Fight!" chant about 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter lasted longer than I ever remember one lasting, and it actually got louder near the end. If we'd scored after the turnover, I don't think anybody on the WVU side would've been able to hear anything for the remainder of the contest. The atmosphere was absolutely outstanding, and I look forward to seeing it again in 2016 when Notre Dame comes to town.
In other news, TCU tried on their big-boy pants this weekend and promptly face-planted, losing by two touchdowns to Iowa State. At home. Wonder how they'll fare against OU, KSU, WVU, Texas Tech, Baylor, and UT? I'm thinking 1-5, 2-4 at best. Welcome to the Big Leagues, boys. Things are a little different when you have to do this every single week, and not just once or twice a year.
Finally, it turns out Texas Tech's defense is not quite "all that and a bag of chips," as they gave up nearly twice their average coming into the game to Landry Jones and the OU offense. Expect their numbers to get steadily worse as they face WVU this week, followed by TCU, KSU, UT, KU, OSU, and BU.
What else caught your eye this weekend? Florida? South Carolina? The Golden Domers? Got a different take on Saturday night's WVU game? Put in your two cents' worth in the comments.